Nitrogen fertilizer restrictions set to begin Sept. 1 in Minnesota

Staff Writer
Redwood Falls Gazette

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is reminding farmers and landowners that beginning Sept. 1, 2020 the application of nitrogen fertilizer in the fall and on frozen soil will be restricted in areas vulnerable to groundwater contamination.

This will also apply to drinking water supply management areas (DWSMAs) with elevated nitrate levels. Vulnerable groundwater areas include coarse textured soils, karst geology and shallow bedrock. 

Approximately 12 to 13 percent of Minnesota’s cropland is vulnerable to groundwater contamination.

A map showing the vulnerable groundwater areas as well as a list of exceptions to the restrictions are outlined on the groundwater protection rule Web site.

A short video on the fall restrictions and links for additional information are available on the MDA Web site at www.mda.state. mn.us.

The nitrogen fertilizer restrictions are part of the groundwater protection rule, which minimizes potential fertilizer sources of nitrate pollution to the state’s groundwater and works with local farmers to prevent public water supply wells from exceeding the drinking water standard for nitrate contamination.

For more information, contact Larry Gunderson at (651) 201-6168 or Larry.Gunderson@state.mn.us.